The Unity-Consciousness: An Experiential Perspective – M.S. Srinivasan

(The highest aim of Indian spirituality and yoga is the realization of Oneness or Unity- Consciousness. All our higher aspirations, like for example, ethics, values, social responsibility or ecological sustainability can be lasting and entirely effective only when it is based on this unity –consciousness. But what is precisely the nature of this Unity-consciousness? It is not a concept, idea or a feeling; it is a concrete reality of the spiritual consciousness, and the deeper reality of the world; it is a truth of the spirit felt, experienced and realized by many seekers, yogis, saints, sages, poets, sometimes even by apparently ordinary men. This article is a compilation of such experiences, which can give an indication of the experiential content of the Unity-consciousness.)

I contain the wide world in my soul’s embrace:

To whatsoever living from I turn

I see my own body with another face.

All eyes that look on me are my sole eyes;

            The one heart that beats within all breasts is mine.

            The world’s happiness flows through me like wine,

Its million sorrows are my agonies.(1)

Sri Aurobindo

* * *

 I have wrapped the wide world in my wider self

And Time and Space my spirit’s seeing are.

I am the god and demon, ghost and elf,

I am the wind’s speed and the blazing star.

All Nature is the nursling of my care,

I am the struggle and the eternal rest;

The world’s joy thrilling runs through me, I bear

The sorrow of millions in my lonely breast.

I have learned a close identity with all,

Yet am by nothing bound that I become;

Carrying in me the universe’s call

I mount to my imperishable home.(2)

-Sri Aurobindo

 * * *

 I have never before so completely lived Thy immutable peace or rather the “I” has never before disappeared so completely that Thy divine peace alone is alive there. All is beautiful, harmonious and calm, all is full of Thee. Thou shinest in the dazzling sun, Thou art felt in the gentle passing breeze, Thou dost manifest Thyself in all hearts and live in all beings. There is not an animal, a plant that does not speak to me of Thee and Thy name is written upon everything I see. (3)

-The Mother

Sri Aurobindo Ashram

* * *

 On that first day, while I was in that state and more con­scious of the thing around me, I had the first most extraordinary experience. There was a man mending the road; that man was myself; the pickaxe he held was myself; the very stone he was breaking was a part of me; the tender blade of grass was my very being and the tree beside the man was myself. I almost could feel and think like, the road mender, and I could feel the wind passing through the tree and the little ant on the blade of grass I could feel. The birds, the dust and the very noise were a part of me. Just then there was a car passing by at some dis­tance; I was the driver, the engine and the tyres; as the car went further away from me, I was going away from myself. I was in everything or rather everything was in me; inanimate and ani­mate, the mountain, the worm and all breathing things. (4)


Philosopher and seer

 * * *

 One day in the Cossipore garden, I expressed my prayer [for nirvikalpa Samadhi] to Sri Ramakrishna with great earnestness. Then in the evening, at the hour of meditation, I lost consciousness of the body and felt that it was absolutely nonexistent. I felt that the sun, moon, space, time, ether and all had been reduced to a homogenous mass and then melted far away into the unknown. Body consciousness almost vanished, and I nearly merged in the supreme. But I had just the trace of the feeling of ego so I could again return to the world of relativity from Samadhi. In this state of Samadhi all differences between “I” and “Brahman” goes away, everything is reduced to unity, like the water of the Infinite ocean- water everywhere, nothing else exists. (5)

-Swami Vivekananda

* * *

 I measured the limits of space,

Its beginning and end;

I measured the men and women

In spaces everywhere;

I measured the Primal Lord

Of spaces Vast;

I measured His Grace in devotion

And knew all. (6)


An ancient Indian Yogi,

from his mantric

Treatise on yoga

* * *

I am in you and

You are in me

Mutual in Love from

Man to Man

Lo, we are One. (7)

-William Blake,

English Poet

* * *

 A disciple of Christian mystic, Miester Eckart tells his Master “I want to know about the nature of life of angels.”  The Master replied: “tonight, meditate on an angel and identify with him.  You will know.”  The next day the disciple narrates his experiences to his Master:

“Meister, I followed your instruction and found that the world of angels is a life of perfect unity.  Each angel feels all other angels as a part of himself and the world around him as an unbroken extension of his own being.”

-from a Biography of Miester Eckart

* * *

It was at Esalen, my first trip there several years ago—I walked outdoors.  Suddenly I was overwhelmed by the beauty of everything I saw.  This vivid, transcended experience tore apart my limited outlook—In this half hour solitary experience I felt unity with all, universal love, connectedness—A new understanding of self is discovered, one that has little relatedness to ego, selflishness—a linkage with others as if they are oneself—and the merger with a self, yet more universal and primary. (8)

                                                                                             -a real-estate entrepreneur                                                                                      quoted by Marylyn Ferguson.


1 & 2. Sri Aurobindo, Collected Poems, SABCL, Vol.6, 142, 44.

  1. The Mother, Prayers and Meditations, Collected Works, Vol.1, p.124
  2. Papul Jayakar, J. Krishnamoorthy, A Biography, p.48
  3. Swami Vivekananda, Sri Ramakrishna As We Saw Him, p.70
  4. Thirumoolar, Thirumanthiram
  5. Quoted by Marylyn Ferguson, in “Aquarian Conspiracy”, p. 381
  6. ibid, p.98
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